Libyan diplomat refuses Gaddafi posting
swissinfo.ch has obtained exclusive information that the diplomat named by Libya to the United Nations headquarters in Geneva has refused to represent Moammar Gaddafi.
Muhammad Murad Hamimah said he would not take up the post. He accused the Gaddafi regime of "committing acts of violence against the people, and the use of mercenaries". He said he “stood by the Libyan revolution", which is attempting to overthrow the dictatorship.
swissinfo.ch received a statement from the Libyan envoy – who was appointed by the Libyan authorities as Permanent Representative to the Mission of Libya to the United Nations in Geneva on February 26, 2011.
In it, Hamimah says he "rejects the mandate from the government, which has lost its legitimacy as a result of the commission of acts of violence, intimidation and random murder against masses of innocent people”.
The use of force against the peaceful population “constitutes a flagrant violation of the principles of human rights and international humanitarian law”, the statement said.
“I stand by the Libyan revolution, and support my people's brave uprising to obtain freedom and democracy and the eradication of corruption."
Hamimah had served as Vice President of the Libyan Mission to the United Nations in Geneva for several years before being called back to Tripoli to serve in different capacities.
No representation in Switzerland
The Deputy Chief of the Libyan Mission to the United Nations in Geneva, Adel Shaltout, appeared before a special session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva on February 25 to discuss human rights violations in Libya. Addressing the Council, he joined other members of the Libyan Mission in pledging allegiance to the people's revolution.
"History has taught us that the will of the people is invincible,” he said.
"We in the Libyan Mission assure you we have decided to be representatives of the Libyan people and… will not represent anyone else. And we will be the voice of this great people at this Council and all international forums," Shaltout said.
Earlier this week the locally engaged Libyan staff at the embassy in Bern also came out in support of the revolution.
As a result, and following the decision of the Libyan Mission in Geneva, the regime in Tripoli no longer has a diplomatic representative in Switzerland.
After uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, opponents of Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi began protesting on February 15, declaring a “day of rage” on February 17.
Opponents seized a number of cities, in particular the country’s second town, Benghazi.
Several ministers and ambassadors of the Gaddafi regime switched their allegiance.
Gaddafi threatened bloody reprisals and his supporters have attacked protestors and rebel strongholds.
The opposition Libyan human rights league put the total death toll at 6,000 by March 2. The same day the UN refugee body estimated that more than 150,000 people had fled Libya by land to Tunisia and Egypt. Huge queues formed at the borders.
African nationals have also started fleeing across the southern border to Niger.
The International Criminal Court had opened a probe into crimes against humanity by Libyan officials.
The UN General Assembly voted unanimously on March 1 to suspend Libya’s membership of the UN Human Rights Council.
Many countries, led by Switzerland, have frozen assets held by Gaddafi and his entourage.End of insertion
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